Wayback Wednesday and School Daze.

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Over the course of my 1,145 blog posts generated to date, at least 90% of them have been strictly about walking, which makes sense since the title of this blog is “Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy”.

Admittedly, I’ve strayed off the beaten path, meandering from the usual tales from the trail, to occasionally write about a fond memory, especially for holidays, special occasions and life events.  Like today’s topic … graduation.

This morning it was hot and humid when I stepped out the door – not quite tropical, but gettin’ there.  I ended up walking five miles and came home feeling like a limp dishrag.  This morning’s trek got me over the 400-mile hump, so I’ve now walked 401 miles thus far this year, with only 650 more miles to meet my goal.  I’m willing if Mother Nature cooperates, but she’s not been too helpful the first half of 2018.

That five-mile trek in the heat and humidity was admirable, but 45 years ago today, I took a short and memorable walk … a few steps that took me across the stage at Cobo Hall in Detroit, along with 612 of my classmates from Lincoln Park High School.  The occasion was our high school graduation ceremony.  The event was on a Wednesday, just like today, with similar weather – it was a sweltering hot evening.

The fashion for girls circa 1973 was flirty mini dresses and I was wearing an outfit that I had sewn myself.  I used to make all my own clothes because I was tall and couldn’t always find clothes that did not look like they belonged to my little sister.  I wore that dress with sky-high platform sandals which were also the rage at the time.  Looking at the photograph while preparing this blog post, I wondered why I thought I needed to add another three inches to my five foot nine inch height?   My father took some photos before we left the house for the graduation ceremony.

linda in the red dress

linda at the gate

There was a hubbub of commotion at Cobo Hall as our 613 classmates assembled for the commencement ceremony.  We were excited, as well as a little nervous, and, since we were all clustered together, it soon got hot in the stage waiting area.  I was warm wearing that heavy royal blue gown and the uncomfortable mortarboard perched on my head, and, I knew it would take forever to proceed to the letter “S” last names.  So, like many of my classmates, I unzipped the gown quite a lot to cool off a bit.  Big mistake.  Finally, the person calling the newly minted graduates’ names reached the tail end of the “Rs” so I decided to put myself back together again in anticipation of “the walk” to receive my diploma and the eventual flipping of that orange and blue tassel from right to left.

But, horrors of horrors, the gown’s front zipper was stuck – the teeth did not want to mesh properly.  Oh for goodness sake!  All decorum surely would be lost if I had to walk across the stage with my bright-red mini dress peeking out of the gown.  My brain was churning with options as we were now in the “S” names.  So, do I clutch the front of the gown to make that walk?  But then, how would I shake the person’s hand and take my diploma from them with the other hand simultaneously?

I tugged.

I pulled.

But that zipper was still stuck.

Finally, I had to enlist the aid of several fellow “S” through “Z” named classmates.  With three of us working on the stupid zipper, and one quick successful final tug, decorum was restored and a minute or two later I was off, treading carefully, so as not to trip in those clunky shoes as I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma .

It was a traumatic event at the time and here I am writing about it some 45 years later and laughing as I recall my near-faux pas.

When the graduation ceremony was over, we flipped our tassels from right to left signifying we were graduates, and off we went to act like juveniles at the All Night Party that was held at our high school.

Earlier this week, Cheryl, a former classmate, suggested we use our small “friendship photos” that we exchanged with one another during our senior year, as our Facebook profile picture to commemorate the 45th anniversary of our “graduation walk”, thus, that sepia-toned photo prompted this post and it appears up on top in the header photo.

I was the youngest student in my graduating class, having just turned 17 years old in April of 1973.  This was because, when I was growing up in Canada, students were often “double-promoted” or skipped the “review grades” … I was a good student, but truthfully, most of the class skipped an entire grade if they were able to pass a qualifying test.

After high school, I continued my education at Henry Ford Community College, graduating with my Associate’s Degree in June 1976.

linda with cake

linda with flowers

At HFCC our graduation gowns were a similar royal blue color with a white and blue mortarboard tassel.  You can believe I did not unzip the graduation gown that time!

Next I went on to Wayne State University where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in June 1978.

linda official pic

It seems inconceivable to me that forty years has passed – where did the time go?  Mid-June 1978 was a hectic time for me.  My parents were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and had a small dinner party …

dinner

… and I was working weekends at the diner, plus cramming for final exams, the last exams I would ever take.  My grandmother was here from Toronto for the anniversary party and the graduation ceremony.  At the last minute, I decided not to go to commencement as it was very hot and humid weather that day and my grandmother had a heart condition.  Climbing stairs and the hot weather were very bad for her, so I suggested we skip the ceremony and have a celebratory dinner instead.

I took photos of my grandmother in my graduation cap and gown holding a mock diploma.

nanny

I donned my cap and gown and went to the diner to visit my boss, Erdie, to have my picture taken with him.  One day I will write about Erdie and his wife Ann, who were very special to me the entire time I worked at the diner (1973 through 1978).

linda and erdie

P.S. – I had such a solemn look on my face because I refused to smile for any photo due to my mouthful of metal braces.

Life is a journey, no matter how few or many steps you take.  For me, school was a big part of that meaningful journey, and no one can take that education experience away from me,  but I have gleaned more information about life well beyond the classroom environment.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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35 Responses to Wayback Wednesday and School Daze.

  1. I really enjoyed this post… it’s nice to get to know you a little more. I encourage to write more of these. You had I graduated the same year… and we were both the youngest in our class. I skipped 2nd grade but, unlike you, I’m convinced that it was in recognition of my superior intelligence 🙂 Ha! Anyway, thanks for sharing your funny graduation story and pictures of your past!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks for saying that Janis. I do like to go back in time sometimes, especially since I scanned in all my travel and family albums last Thanksgiving. I have scanned them in BUT they all are quite raw and untweaked – in some cases, there were multiple pics on one scanned page and all will have to be separated and with the snipping tool, made into separate JPEGs, a massive job, but it’s nice to pull out some old pics for the blog. I skipped 2nd grade and part of another grade. I am Canadian and we moved to the States in 1966 when I was 10. In Canada, they used to have Grade 13 which would be the equivalent of the first year of college and I think that is why they encouraged skipping the “review/repeat” grades. Glad you liked the graduation night story – I was pretty mortified when it happened!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kodak moment! Memories to cherish!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was fun to read about your graduation days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Anne – I am glad you enjoyed it – I was just going to write about high school graduation then decided the 40-year anniversary was pretty significant too, so what the heck, I’d make a whole “graduation” blog post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t have any photos from my high school graduation. Perhaps my parents had a few.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I always carried a pocket camera with me in those days and if I wasn’t taking pictures, my parents were using it to take pictures. I liked the fact that it was easy to use and you could hand it off to people and get them to take the picture. When I used to travel, I always took the pocket camera and would just hand it over for pictures of me in some touristy spot. I had some pics of the graduation from HFCC but they were too dark to use. It was a smaller graduation – the high school graduation was alot of kids and took forever. We had one of the largest classes at LPHS and it was just the June class. There were about 160 kids in the January 1973 graduating class. After our class graduated, they went to only June graduations. I got all the albums of pictures and no one to split the photos up with so that is how I amassed so many pics. I had many I didn’t use that were taken with my parents and grandmother. My grandmother wasn’t here for high school graduation though.

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      • That’s great that you have pictures for so many things in your life.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Cute pics! 🙂

    It was only after i left school that i really started learning! Learning is endless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Tom. I feel the same way and I don’t have as much education as you – I believe I read you had a Master’s degree. There are always new things to learn beyond being “book smart” … working at the diner while attending school was the best thing I could ever have done for myself. I was very shy before then and being a waitress in a diner brought me out of my shell. My boss and his wife were from Alabama and most every employee there was from the Deep South. The clientele as well. I loved my years spent there. Traveling enriched my life much more than school ever did.

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    • I am also a supporter of “Lifelong learning”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree with you Andy. School only teaches you to be “book smart” … it is important to get out in the world and learn by experience. I graduated from school in 1978 and there were no jobs to be found to use my degree. Forty years later, I am still not using my degree for my job as a legal secretary. If you listen to the news and follow current events, you can gain a lot of wisdom. My mom read the newspaper from cover to cover every day and listened to the news on the radio throughout the day – she was much more scholarly than I ever was with a college education and having traveled a lot in my younger days. You have to continue to evolve until the day you die.

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  5. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………….you were a very striikingly beautiful young lady way back then…………………..I’m glad you did well in all of your school work…………….you are highly intelligent and a wonderful writer……………thank you for sharing those photos I enjoyed seeing them

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Ann Marie – I was thinking a lot about school today – this being that 45th anniversary of high school graduation and the same day of the week … I got to thinking about days long ago. Thank you for your kind words as well. I enjoyed looking at these old photos and putting them together for the blog on education. You, as a former teacher, will always recognize the importance of education, no matter the forum … in the classroom, in the workplace … or out in the world. There is always something to learn and hold onto in your mind.

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  6. Remininesance is a wonderful tool and it is great how our old picture act as a catalyst spark memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes it is … I love looking at old pictures and I am lucky that my parents took a lot of pictures and my grandparents did as well. For me, I am happy for the pictures as I have no family members – so the pictures are good for remembering everyone that way. Some of the older pictures are better preserved than the newer ones amazingly. The pictures in this post for example. They were taken with a pocket instamatic camera and the photos look washed out and have some marks on them. But the older black-and-white pics, some nearly a century old, are remarkably clear. In this post, the B&W pic of my mother as a baby was taken in 1926: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/02/14/bonbons-and-blooms/

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  7. John says:

    Very interesting post you wrote.😊 I think the panic started to approach when you could not get the zipper. Lovely pictures and very well photographed. When photographing with an analog camera, you do not know how the photos will be until they are developed. Many nice memories you have.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you John for the nice comments. I remember thinking “why did I have to unzip this gown?” It was getting closer and closer … the zipper was jammed down more than the length of my dress, and graduation ceremony supposed to be all this pomp and circumstance and then along would be me looking disheveled. Thank goodness we could get the zipper working again.

      Before I got the 35mm camera in 1980 I used only a pocket instamatic camera for many years. I took it everywhere with me and it was a workhorse. In this post, some of the pics came out great – others look a little faded, but I think that was the scanner’s fault too. I can remember my parents or me taking photos in the 70s and having to send away the film out of state to Kodak (in Rochester, New York) to be developed. And, I also remember the picture duds that would come back and you’d cringe as each photo at that time was about $0.25 which was a lot of money back then. We have it so easy now! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s alwasy fun to travel back into a shared past. Even though we’ve never met and live a third of a country away, all our experiences seem to be the same…even the photos….especially the photos. No wonder we write…how else would we sort through the clutter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      You’re so right Brian because we are around the same age and lived through the 70s in our high school and college years. Do you remember when we both discovered we shared the common interest of working in an advertising agency after I wrote the post about my former boss who had the sudden heart attack? It is good to look back sometimes, even if we remember things as more golden, and less tarnished. Someone has to put those words from our heads into a blog post!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ruthsoaper says:

    Hi Linda,
    I really enjoyed reading this and the pictures are great. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories. I agree that we learn so much more from life experiences and interacting with the world around us then we can learn in any classroom.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ruth. I am glad you enjoyed it. I like reminiscing sometimes and this was the perfect opportunity to do so with our 45th anniversary, and June being a month for graduation and the Facebook picture and all. School was valuable, but I’ve learned so much more from life lessons than I could have learned from any book or classroom.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful story! I haven’t thought about graduation in a long time.Thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ellie P. says:

    Lovely post and pix, Linda – what treasures, they help you preserve your precious memories! I have a question: you’re so attractive, and with your height, did you ever consider doing any modelling?

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I am grateful I have so many photos of events in my life as well as everyday pictures. I am glad I’ve scanned them in as well, though they are still raw and untweaked so I keep going in and getting them from all hundreds I scanned in. Thank you for the compliment Ellie – I never thought of doing any modeling, but when I got out of high school I wanted to be a veterinarian, and when my grades in math and science were not good enough and I had several overseas trips under my belt, I told my parents I wanted to be an airline stewardess (in those days they had the height/weight requirement and I could have fulfilled that) – they were aghast that I should quit school to do that. They were paying for school. I dropped the subject after the discussion with them. I thought that would be a good way to see the world on layovers, etc. After I took a cruise, I wanted to be a cruise director – my parents rolled their eyes at that idea as well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a lovely post to read 🙂 Graduation is such a special time. I am glad the wardrobe malfunction got fixed 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. WalkFrederick says:

    Lovely pictures. You made all your own clothes! Impressive!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Michelle. Back in those days I did because I was tall for my age and you could not find casual or dress clothes that fit properly, so I started making my clothes. I was not good at hand finishing them though, so I’d do the machine sewing and my mom would set in sleeves and hem the items for me.

      Like

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